Track issues almost resolved

Paul Wilson.
Paul Wilson.
A long-running dispute over encroachment of a public walking track on to private land is almost resolved.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council constructed a section of the Wanaka-Glendhu Bay Track from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay in 2009. The following year, the council was told the track formed had encroached in five places on to the adjoining property owned by Damper Bay Estates Ltd.

The council has been working with Damper Bay over the past two years to resolve the encroachments, which ranged from 0.1m to 9.3m.

The track deviation from the original outline plan and issues about the quality of track construction on the boundary with Damper Bay's land prompted an application for a High Court judicial review of the track construction consents. This was settled after mediation and the production of a new outline plan, showing a realignment of part of the track. In a report to the Wanaka Community Board, QLDC community services general manager Paul Wilson said it was unclear how the encroachments come about, but it was possible the ''trial alignment or boundary pegs were moved or there was some error in either survey or construction''.

The Department of Conservation had previously negotiated an easement as part of tenure review from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay some distance away from the formed trail. However, it was not used, as it was restricted to walkers only.

As part of a December 2012 proposal by council and agreed to by Damper Bay Estates Ltd, the track has now been realigned back on to council land at three of the encroachments, which were considered the easiest to resolve.

The council is now in the process of uplifting the existing easement, to be replaced with an easement at QLDC's cost over the remaining two encroachments, which would have involved extensive earthworks to resolve.

Mr Wilson estimated the final cost of the realignment work to be about $30,000. Because the work was not budgeted for, it has been funded from the Albert Town Lagoon Track budget of $51,590.

''The remaining funding available [for the Albert Town project] will be sufficient to form the proposed high trail only,'' Mr Wilson said.

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz